Workers from across a wide variety of fields are at risk for a serious workplace injury. In particular, many are at risk for back injuries. In fact, back injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders, make up 33 percent of all workplace injuries. Workers from a variety of jobs including health care, food processing, office jobs, construction work and more, are at risk for these injuries.

Back injuries can have devastating effects. This was seen recently in New York in another case highlighted on this blog. In that case, a man’s previous back issues were exacerbated by a workplace accident. A New York court recently ruled that he was entitled to workers’ compensation as a result of the injury.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), back injuries are often preventable. If employers and employees work together, all workers can be safer from back injuries. OSHA highlights several safety regulations that can, and should, be implemented in order to prevent back injuries.

First, training should be provided about the ergonomic options that can make a job easier on a person’s body. With the right processes in place, people can increase their productivity while lessening muscle fatigue. Next, employers and employees should identify potential issues in their particular workplace that could result in a back injury. This way proactive steps can be taken to avoid these injuries.

Furthermore, employees should be encouraged to report ergonomic problems and early symptoms of back issues. By reporting these issues, people can seek treatment earlier and, hopefully, stop the progression of the injury. Additionally, if the issues are reported, fixes can be made to prevent additional injuries.

It is important for employers and employees to understand the seriousness of a back injury. When these injuries do occur, employees should take action to protect their legal rights. This may include considering filing a workers’ compensation claim with the help of an experienced New York attorney.